Addressing inequality in maternal and child nutrition

A rapidly growing urban population has led to increasing inequality in the Philippines, where maternal and child health and nutrition is worse among urban poor families living in informal settlements.

Local governments, especially key decision-makers such as mayors and local government councils, have the autonomy to implement and allocate funding for health and nutrition programs. However, because of weak nutrition governance systems at the municipal and barangay levels, health and nutrition service delivery for the first 1,000 days is fragmented.

There is an opportunity to influence and build the capacity of city governments on nutrition governance for the first 1,000 days, especially for marginalized and vulnerable populations, including women, children under five, adolescent girls and indigenous peoples.

Our Solution

Co-creating an Urban Nutrition Strategy

Through this Nutrition Leverage and Influence for Transformation (NLIFT) investment, Nutrition International and the Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF) are working to co-create an Urban Nutrition Strategy to improve nutrition governance focusing on the first 1,000 days.

Using ZFF’s leadership and governance model in the target cities, the collaboration with city mayors, the Department of Health, and the regional and city health and nutrition managers will strengthen the capacity of target city governments to plan, finance and govern integrated nutrition service delivery networks.

The project coaches and mentors governments at the sub-national level on a systems approach for nutrition through:

  • Enabling policies and participatory governance
  • Multisectoral collaboration
  • Improvements in the technical capacities of health and nutrition workers

The NLIFT investment:

  • Leverages ZFF’s existing health governance platform
  • Strengthens the focus on nutrition interventions
  • Explores the links between the first 1,000 days and the prevention of non-communicable diseases

This project will create a model to:

  • Communicate health and nutrition issues to city chief executives
  • Influence city chief executive policy and financing decisions and governance strategies

The Impact

Improving nutrition governance focusing on the first 1,000 days

This project improved nutrition leadership of city mayors, nutrition councils and health teams, enhanced the ability of health and nutrition workers to implement appropriate and gender-sensitive programming for the first 1,000 days, and developed better data management for evidence-based planning, policy development, and implementation of nutrition programs.